Hot Punto and green Panda will take centre stage at German motor show
4 September 2007

You won’t be able to miss Fiat’s stand at next week’s Frankfurt motor show; in an attempt to bring a little of Italy into the German motor expo, it’ll be liveried in the colours of the Italian flag. Within the green section, Fiat will be demonstrating its commitment to its new “environmental manifesto”; the white section will be dedicated the new Fiat 500; the red section will be given over to Fiat’s up-and-coming sporting brand Abarth; and both the green and red sections will be dominated by new concept cars, one a super-frugal Panda concept, the other the hottest Punto Fiat has shown.

The Panda Aria concept

Underlining Fiat’s “determination to analyse novelties in its search for ways to limit polluting emissions and CO2 levels,” is the Panda Aria concept, a Panda supermini adapted so that it emits an unprecedented 69g/km of carbon dioxide.Quite how it’ll do this remains to be revealed by Fiat on Frankfurt press day, September 11. All that is evident from the pictures issued today is that it’ll have a paint job inspired by what look like coffee beans. Or they could be microbes.What we do know is that, behind the scenes, Fiat is working on a super-small two-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that it’s got in mind for cars like the 500 and the Panda; this could be the first time we see that engine applied.

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The Punto Abarth SS

On the hotter, red side of Fiat’s stand will be another preview of the firm’s Punto Abarth hot hatch. Back at Geneva this year, we saw the Punto Abarth Preview concept; this Punto, however, is an even hotter looking supermini thanks to the ‘Super Sport’ body styling kit it’s wearing, with its even more swollen front air dam and more ostentatious boot spoiler.If it’s well received, the styling of the Punto Abarth ‘SS’ is likely to be carried over directly onto the hottest version of the eventual road-going Punto Abarth, which Fiat currently plans to offer in both 150bhp and 180bhp tunes.

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